Customers are getting pickier by the day, and brands need to find creative, innovative ways to stay at the top of their game if they want to inspire loyalty.
Failing to do so can send those customers straight to the doorstep of your competitors, and leave you with a serious retention issue that can cost your business so much more than a creative loyalty program.
Plus, the budget and the resources necessary to acquire new customers is once again much greater than that needed for investing in retention.
From whatever angle you try to analyse your options, retention seems like the best route forward if you want to grow your business and your reputation.
Still, since you’re certainly not a lonely player in your industry, there are others just like you attempting to do the same. The factor of competition is more than enough to give you that extra nudge of motivation when you need to focus on protecting your customers’ loyalty
Here are a few tips on crafting authentic loyalty programs for customer retention to make sure that your brand presence is not just a fleeting notion on someone’s newsfeed, but a household name for your customers.
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Get to Know Your Audience – Again
At the beginning of every business journey, brands spend a decent amount of time trying to discover that ideal customer.
This is by far the best way to reach an audience and create a selection of products or services that make sense for that particular group of people.
What some brands seem to forget is that people evolve and change over time. What they considered fun and exciting five years ago might be old news by the time you’re starting to create this new loyalty scheme of yours.
Market Your Loyalty for Better SEO
Even when you have a great loyalty scheme in place, one that your customers approve of and love, you still need to keep in mind that your brand isn’t the only one trying to get their attention.
Chances are, if you’re operating in a region that is highly competitive, the likes of Singapore and similar fast-developing Asian areas, you need a strategic approach to market your loyalty programs to rank better in search engines and as a part of your overall marketing strategy.
Search engine optimisation (SEO) involves making changes to your website design and content that make your site more attractive to a search engine such as Google. It means site ranks high in the search engines for relevant keywords and phrases.
To make loyalty programs more visible locally, brands often rely on SEO services in Singapore to gain a competitive advantage and raise awareness of their loyalty efforts.
Conversely, your entire SEO strategy will be of higher quality precisely thanks to your loyalty schemes, especially when you invest time and effort to craft great localized, loyalty-driven content.
That means that not only will your loyalty program obtain more views, shares, and overall engagement, but it will also reflect well on other links you add to your posts, boosting your ranking in the SERPs.
The idea of loyalty stems from a particular customer bonding with a particular brand.
If a customer feels like a number on a list, they’ll never feel loyal to your brand.
If you, on the other hand, go above and beyond to show them that they are special and that you appreciate their business, they’ll be inspired to come back, especially with the many perks and rewards you send their way. This is where you need to introduce personalisation to show how much you know their preferences.
Remember, personalisation is not complicated, it’s based on the knowledge you’ve gathered on your audience, and in your own creativity to spice up your loyalty schemes with that knowledge.
For example, sending out personalised mugs to customers who come back to your store, with, for example, a special quote you know they love is a great way to connect.
Using such freebies as giveaways to boost loyalty is another way you can introduce personalised gifts into the mix.
They can also be handy when you create time-limited offers, so when customers complete a purchase, you can send a gift along with a note to express your gratitude.
Collaborate With Your Brand’s Ambassadors
This time, we’re not talking about influencers, as much as they can be helpful when you’re trying to enhance loyalty among your followers and customers.
This time, we’re addressing the notion of repeat customers, but the ones who are your most loyal fans online as well as offline. The ones who comment on your posts, share them, and regularly visit your blog, the ones that have communicated with you via messages and perhaps on the phone.
Their loyalty and love for your brand are more valuable than any paid collaboration with influencers.
You can offer them referral points when they manage to inspire someone else to make a purchase. Offer them points for commenting or sharing your posts and allow them to collect those points and use them to make a purchase in your store.
This level of engagement is perfect for boosting loyalty among your customers.
Add Short-Term And Long-Term Rewards
You already know that loyalty is not a one-night stand, it takes commitment and it takes ongoing communication and engagement to grow and develop.
While short-term reward programs have their benefits, like giving out freebies in exchange for shares, or creating contests that reward a select group of customers, you should also invest in long-term loyalty programs.
That, of course, means that you need to create an entire long-term strategy that will keep your customers interested over the course of several months, inspire them to use your loyalty app to make purchases, incentivize them via emails and newsletters with personalized offers, and personalise every step of the way.
Measure Progress and Performance
Every campaign can and should be based on data, the kind you collect in that initial stage of preparations for boosting loyalty.
The learning curve doesn’t end there. You also need to be prepared to monitor the effects of each loyalty scheme you pursue, so that you can make changes on the go, and even more importantly, adapt your future efforts.
Ongoing analysis of customer loyalty is necessary for every modern brand to understand its impact and its potential to boost retention over time.
Loyalty programs have always been relevant for retaining customers, but they are pivotal especially today, when the world is brimming with competition in every possible industry.
These programs may be the ones to make all the difference in helping your brand soar and ensuring that your name always retains the recognition it has built over the years.
Jacob Wilson is a business consultant, and an organizational psychologist, based in Brisbane. Passionate about marketing, social networks, and business in general. In his spare time, he writes a lot about new business strategies and digital marketing for Bizzmark blog.
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